Monday 26 December 2016

2017 plans and projects...

The past year or so I have avoided joining in any year long reading challenges. Although I love their sense of community and fellowship, by the end of the year, I find that keeping up with where I'm at and what I need to do next just becomes burdensome.

My plan for 2016 was to only join in one-off events (like First Book of the Year, Dewey's 24hr readthon or the Classics Club Spin), flexible join-in-when-you-can memes (like Top Ten Tuesday or 6 Degrees of Separation) and spontaneous readalongs.

I even created my own flexible once a month-ish meme - Brona's Salon - with it's aim of gathering like-minded bookish people together to discuss their latest read and to have a good old bookish gossip.

Challenges were out; chats were in!

And I loved it.

I enjoyed reading and blogging and chatting about books all year.
My ability to join in waxed and waned (as I knew it would) but it never worried me. I knew my reading or blogging mojo would return before too long.

My plan for 2017, therefore, will be more of the same.

I'm on the lookout for one-off or irregular, flexible memes and readalongs.
(Anyone looking for a challenge or twenty to join in can visit Novel Challenge or Toady for lots of great ideas. They're both constantly adding new challenges and readalongs, so check back regularly for updates.)

I was delighted to discover that Becky @Becky's Book Reviews is planning on hosting a Share-A-Tea challenge in 2017. A 'challenge' all about enjoying a lovely cup of tea whilst reading your book and sharing it.

Which books count towards the challenge? Any book that you primarily read while drinking tea. Not every single page needs to have been read while drinking tea. (I'm not that strict!!!) But this challenge is all about celebrating SLOWING DOWN and SAVOURING the moments. 
How many books? Is there a set minimum? This challenge is about QUALITY and not quantity. It's not about reading fifty books or even twelve books. This is an anti-rush reading challenge. Enjoy where you are in a book, and, engage fully in it. Live in the book. 
This challenge has a focus on SHARING.

I have been a hoping-to-get-into-the-game-sideline-supporter of the Slow Movement for quite some time now. The idea of a challenge that savours the process with no minimums required sounds perfect!

My most likely approach to this challenge will be pictorial via instagram, twitter and litsy (Brona) #ShareATea2017.

First Book of the Year hosted by Sheila @BookJourney is a lovely world-wide meme that features book bloggers with the book they're reading on New Year's Day. Sign up and fill out the form to join in. It's not too late to jump on board.

2016 Book of the Year collage featuring me on the beach with my NY book!

The only other plan/wish/hope for 2017 is to tackle my TBR pile.

Thanks to Adam @Roofbeam Reader I will hopefully read (or reread) a few of the classics on my TBR pile (my post for his Classics Book A Month Club is here) and Bev @My Reader's Block has kindly let me join her Mount TBR Reading Challenge with a smaller, more do-able peak - Australia's own Mt Kosciosko with just 6 books.

Another one that has caught my eye thanks to it's long term, freewheeling nature is The World From My Armchair challenge devised by Paul @Halfman Halfbook.

I have no intention of reading a travel book from every single country in the world, but I know I will inevitably read some and this might help me keep track.

The Deal Me In 7.0 Short Story Challenge is also tempting. 

I read a lot of short story collections throughout each year - fiction and non-fiction and never know whether to review them as one collection or review each one individually. Given that I sometimes fail to read the whole collection, this challenge might help to keep me focused on the individual stories I do actually read. 

Jay has several variations on this challenge if a short story a week seems like too big an ask. 

In my younger days I was a rather keen euchre player, so the 32 card euchre pack appeals to me (FYI: most Australians play euchre using the cards 7 up and score to 11, using one 5 and one 6 playing card to keep track). 

Naturally (as I'm the editor for the History, Memoir, Biography page) I will also be reading plenty of Australian Women Writers in 2017.
The 2017 sign up post is here.

Given that I smashed my AWW reading challenge during 2016 with 44 books completed and reviewed (and a 45th on my current reading pile), I think I will need my very own customised reading level for 2017!

To clarify this figure - one of the books was mostly read in 2015, but finished in January in 2016 and 16 of the books were picture books or junior fiction and 4 books were YA/teen.

For 2017 I plan to read 40+ AWW books to achieve MY BRILLIANT CAREER!

For someone who is not joining in any challenges in 2017, I think that should be enough, don't you?


  1. Anonymous26/12/16

    It's good to recognize that the highs will come again if we allow ourselves the lows of reading and blogging. We can't be on all the time.
    I'm glad that you mentioned The First Book of the Year. I participated in that once before and didn't know that it was something that happened each year. I will have to check that out.
    I wish the best of luck with your reading in the coming new year, as well as loads of reading enjoyment.
    Thank you for the mention, BTW. It is most appreciated.

    1. I love what you're doing on your blog Toady, therefore, very happy to share it around :-)

      I think it's easy to get caught up in New Year's resolutions and big plans, but one thing the advancing years has taught me is that nothing really changes that much. The good times come and go, as do the bad and the rest of the time sits somewhere in the middle with all the routine, everyday stuff just fluffing along.

      Blogging and reading is the same.
      It's great to be enthusiastic and ambitious and excited, but realistic and practical are what gets you there in the end!

      I hope to see your First Book of the Year in a few days time!

  2. Anonymous26/12/16

    #WorldFromMyArmchair I hope to see the reviews from your 'travels' !
    I forgot about AWW ...I must go to the site and join! I need some non-fiction AWW suggetions!
    Deal Me In: short and sweet reads, easy reviews! There are so many ways to 'tweak' this challenge to your tastes.
    Nobles? Starting my 4th year reading these books...enthusiasm is waning, but I'll keep trying.

    1. I now have a page tab on my sidebar for #WorldFromMyArmchair. I'm 'cheating' by including fiction and I've gone retrospective too!

      Hopefully I will have some time to make my Deal Me In list, although I want to leave a number of them free, for that new release that will no doubt turn up in May!!

      As for the Nobles....that's my uber-longterm project. It will happen when it happens :-)

  3. Wow, they all sound fun, though! 2017 is going to be my Year of No Challenges, although I will join in 20 Books of Summer, and I'm planning to do some re-reading. But for once, no single-author challenges. Let's see how that works out. I like the First Book one you've highlighted!


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